Prevented planting options for crop producers
Corn planting progress slowed last week, but farmers were still able to get another 15 percent of the crop planted. That brings the share planted as of May 26 to 86 percent. This is not too far below the 5-year average of 90 percent for this point of the season. Considering that progress was 38 points behind the average pace just two weeks ago, the progress from May 12 to May 26 is pretty amazing.
Corn planting is close to the five-year average, but a lot of acres remain to be planted. If total corn acreage reaches the 97.3 million acres reported in the March Prospective Plantings report, there was still nearly 14 million acres to be seeded as of last Sunday. Weather for this week probably limited planting progress with multiple systems hitting the Midwest especially in the second half of the week.
click image to zoom At least based on planting intentions, farmers still have more than 2 million acres to plant in Iowa and more than 1 million acres in Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. At least some of these areas were hit with heavy rain over the holiday weekend and with moderate rain this week. As a result planting progress will probably still be 93 percent complete or less when the next Crop Progress report is issued next Monday. That would leave us with about 7 million acres or more still to be planted as we head into June. In addition, some of the corn that has been planted has been flooded out and will need to be replanted.
With a lot of corn still to be planted, some farmers may want to consider other options. Since most land is covered by crop insurance, farmers may want to file for a prevented planting payment. Others may want to shift the land from corn to some other crop, such as soybeans, or farmers may just keep planting corn for another couple of weeks. In 2011, corn planting progress stood at 97 percent on June 9th and the June Acreage report showed corn acreage a little higher than the March intentions.
Corn farmers can continue to plant corn in June, even though it may be after the final planting date indicated in the crop insurance policy. For most states and crops there is a late planting period that runs for 25 days after the final planting date. During that late planting period, farmers can still plant corn, but the insurance coverage gets reduced by 1 percent per day. The crop insurance coverage is based on the spring price, which is $5.65 per bushel for corn for 2013. Corn can even be planted after the late planting period ends and the crop will be insured at 60 percent of the original guarantee.